Diet & Weight Magazine

Courgettes: Low-carb Veg That Works with Everything

By Carbophobic @carbophobic

Courgettes zucchini low-carbCourgettes (aka zucchini) are very low in carbs (about 2.5g net carbs per 100g).

They are very versatile – there are dozens of ways to incorporate them to your low-carb diet. One particular benefit is their ability to stand in for some high-carb ingredients, for example, you can use grated courgettes in low-carb baking.

Courgettes are in season now (July-August), so it is the perfect time to try out new ways of cooking them.

Before we look at recipes and ways to cook courgettes, it is worth mentioning that when in season, courgettes taste lovely just as they are, raw – you can chop them up in a salad, or slice up and have with a dip or a bit of salt. The texture is crunchy and there is a hint of sweetness in the taste.

Courgettes are a perfect side dish

Cooked courgettes make a great side dish, and there are several easy ways of cooking them:

  • Roasting or grilling: slice each courgette length-wise into two or three slices, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20-30 minutes on Gas Mark 5 until soft and slightly browned. Using the grill will produce similar results.
  • Frying: Slice into discs and pan-fry with a bit of oil for about 5-10 minutes on medium-high heat. Grating courgettes instead of slicing also works quite well when fried.
  • Stir-frying: cut them up into thin stalks and stir-fry quickly over high heat.
  • Stews and soups: you probably don’t feel like cooking these now that we are in the middle of a heatwave, but come autumn, courgettes will do very nicely when added to soups and vegetable stews.

Courgettes are a reasonable low-carb substitute for pasta and potatoes

Courgettes have a reputation within the low-carb community for being a credible pasta substitute:

  • Cut them up into thin strips (or grate using the big slicer side of the grater) and steam or gently fry. Use instead of spaghetti and similar pastas.
  • Slice courgettes lengthways into thin slices and use instead of pasta sheets in lasagne recipes, or to wrap up meaty or cheesy fillings (have a look at these zucchini and goat cheese wraps recipe).
  • Cut up into discs and top up with some tomato sauce, meat and cheese for a low-carb mini-pizza.
  • You can’t have any potato crisps on low-carb, but courgettes can help you with that – cut up into thin slices, coat with oil and perhaps a bit of parmesan, and bake until thin and crispy.

Courgettes play a role in low-carb baking and breakfasts

There are many courgette-based recipes for low-carb bread, muffins and pancakes. Bear in mind that they have quite a lot of moisture in them, so you can think of them as a “wet” ingredient in baking.

Further reading

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